Sarah Elton



Download Full Text (2.9 MB)

Publication Date

January 2001


Much southern African cercopithecoid postcranial material is not associated with craniodental remains. Consequently, this postcranial material cannot be confidently assigned to a particular taxon, with the result that little is known about the locomotor strategies and habitat preferences of specific Plio-Pleistocene cercopithecoids from southern Africa. However, cercopithecoid postcrania can provide important information about habitats that were present at fossil sites, even when the material is not attributed to taxa. In this paper, ecomorphic analysis is used to assign cercopithecoid postcranial material from Sterkfontein Member 4, Bolt' s Farm and Swartkrans Members 1 and 2 to one of three habitat/locomotor categories: forest-living arboreal quadrupeds Cforest arboreal'), open habitat terrestrial quadrupeds Copen terrestrial') and open habitat cercopithecoids using a mix of arboreal and terrestrial quadrupedalism Copen mixed'). Cercopithecoids representing all three habitat categories were found in the samples from Sterkfontein Member 4 and Bolt' s Farm, suggesting that monkeys using a range of habitats and locomotor strategies were present at these sites. However, no 'forest arboreal' cercopithecoids were found in the samples from Swartkrans Members 1 and 2, indicating that cercopithecoids at these localities probably depended largely on open habitats. The habitat and locomotor strategy data were also used in combination with locality-based listings offossil cercopithecoid craniodental remains to suggest possible locomotor strategies for several southern African Plio-Pleistocene cercopithecoid taxa, including Parapapio broomi(possibly 'forest arboreal '), Parapapio jonesi Copen terrestrial') , Papio robinsoni Copen terrestrial') and Cercopithecoides williamsiCopen mixed').


Cercopithecoidea, Postcranial, Plio-Pleistocene, Ecomorphology

Document Type






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.